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How To Get a Better Night's Sleep

by Marijo Phelps  
1/06/2010 / Health

Do you have problems falling and staying asleep? Are you a clock watcher thinking I have to get up in 6 hours and I am still wiggling, tossing and turning? Maybe there are some little things that you haven't considered that would help you sleep quickly, safely and even for eight hours!

1. Things you eat may be affecting your sleep patterns.
They have found a new gene which many have that affects the way caffeine is metabolized. No, you are not crazy if you have morning caffeine and then either can't sleep or sleep 4 hours and BOING.... eyes open and wide awake that evening. People with this gene do not metabolize caffeine "normally" and that means it is in their system longer and stronger than other people. It can also contribute to causing heart attacks in these people. Decaf coffee is not necessarily totally decaffeinated either. Taking a multi vitamin later in the day can cause sleeplessness. Eating and snacking after dinner can affect your level of rest. If you are wondering about the effect on your body of any of the above try going without (coffee, sodas with caffeine, tea with caffeine) for 1-2 weeks and see if it makes a difference. You might want to wean yourself off caffeine gradually to avoid headaches and typical caffeine withdrawls.

2. Sleep aids with few side effects.
The old wives tale about a cup of warm milk might not be so far off base. There is calcium and magnesium in milk and those two are nature's natural tranquilizer. You can also take equal amounts of calcium (like 600 mg) and magnesium at bedtime to help. Benadryl has long been given for allergic reactions and itching but makes most people drowsy. One at bedtime can do wonders (for 4 hours) to help get you to sleep or if you awaken in the middle of the night. A warm bath or shower before bedtime can also help to settle you down. Avoid exercise too close to bedtime but do exercise during the day if possible. Even walking helps. Reading before sleep can calm you down and make for a restful night so long as you aren't reading an edge of the seat thriller.

3. Don't let the sun go down on your anger.
Some good advice about emotional and relationships would be to settle arguments and disagreements before trying to doze off. When you are upset you shoot adrenalin (the flight or fight mechanism in our bodies is alive and well). With adrenalin flowing it is very difficult to become restful. There are also many scriptures in the Bible about sleep and rest. Prayer and talking to God can definitely help to get you ready for a peaceful sleep.

Many of us covet getting a good eight hours of sleep a night and it has been way too long since we have had that luxury. Sleep is a necessity and should be available to all if you take a look at things you eat, things which can help calm you and your emotions before your head hits the pillow.

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About Self

Saved by His grace in 1974, from 9 years of professing atheism into His loving arms. RN for 23 years, missionary with YWAM then statistical analyst for Every Home for Christ over 9 years. Living with my husband in the middle of a mountain meadow. GRIN! Wanting to spread the good news

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